Palliative care for people with severe persistent mental illness: a review of the literature

Can J Psychiatry. 2008 Nov;53(11):725-36. doi: 10.1177/070674370805301104.


A systematic overview of the literature on palliative care for people with severe persistent mental illness (SPMI) was conducted to inform clinical practice, research, and education. Empirical studies and nonempirical papers were included. Few empirical studies exist. There is even less information about the palliative care needs of, or the nature of palliative care provided to, people with SPMI. Mental health, primary care, and palliative care providers need to partner with people who have SPMI in developing and providing palliative care. The field of palliative care for people with SPMI is wide open and in need of methodologically sound studies that will help define the issues that exist for this vulnerable population. Recognizing the similarities between mental health and palliative care should lead to collaborative ventures and discussions in an attempt to address common and parallel issues.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Global Health
  • Health Services Accessibility / statistics & numerical data
  • Hospices / statistics & numerical data
  • Humans
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology
  • Mental Disorders / psychology*
  • Mental Disorders / therapy*
  • Palliative Care / methods*
  • Palliative Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Severity of Illness Index
  • Terminal Care